Just Jesus: No Waters or Help Necessary

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first thirty verses of the fifth chapter. “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. IN these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the mo0ving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water; whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cure, it is the sabbath day: it is now lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What a man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews it was Jesus, which had made him whole” (John 5:1-15).

 

            “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Thereefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was this Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth; and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that. Heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:16-30).

 

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find a continuation of the miraculous acts which the Lord Jesus performed while in the flesh among us in the earth. If you read the second chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative you will find that the first of the miracles Jesus performed took place in Cana of Galilee at a wedding and marriage where the wine had run out. It would be there at the wedding Jesus would instruct the servants to fill six large waterpots which were used for purification with water and then to draw some of the water out and take it to the master of the ceremony. When the water was brought to the master of the ceremony and he drank it he tasted what was perhaps the best wine he had ever tasted. Scripture is unclear when the water was turned into wine—whether it was turned into wine when it was drawn out of the waterpot, or while it was being transported to the master of the ceremony, or once it was place in the hands of the master of ceremony, or when it was actually tasted by the master of ceremony. We don’t know for sure when the water was indeed turned into wine, however, we do know that when the master of ceremony actually tasted the water which had been turned into wine he boasted over the best wine being kept for last. With this being said it’s important to note that Scripture doesn’t at all provide any details regarding the wine being distributed unto the guests which were invited to the wedding. We know that the master of ceremony did in fact taste of the water which had been turned into wine, however, we know absolutely nothing of whether the servants continued drawing water out of those waterpots and distributing unto the guests until each and every guest had drank from the water which had been made wine.

 

            As I sit here today I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that although Scripture only reads of the water which was turned into wine being brought unto the master of ceremony and his boasting and rejoicing upon tasting it, I would dare say that there was enough wine at that point in time for each and every guest to partake of the wine. Stop for a moment and think about how absolutely incredible this truly is for when Jesus turned the water into wine He wouldn’t have just done so that the master of ceremony might have tasted of the miracle which He had wrought. Scripture only presents us with the truth of the master of ceremony tasting of the water made wine, however, it makes absolutely no mention of the guests which were invited to the wedding also partaking of the wine which had been transformed in the presence of the Lord Jesus. With this being said I can’t help but wonder if the disciples themselves who were with Jesus had the chance to partake of this water which was transformed into wine and knew and understood what had taken place. We know the apostle John wrote of this miracle and wrote how this was the first and beginning of miracles Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. There is not a doubt in my mind that each and every guest which was present at this wedding was able to drink and partake of the water which was turned into wine and perhaps tasted something entirely and altogether different from what they had previously tasted. With this being said it must be noted that if the master of the ceremony could taste the difference between the water turned into wine which was brought unto him and spoke of the best wine being saved for the last then I would dare say and have to believe that the guest which were present at the wedding might very well have thought the very same thing.

 

            I sit here this morning thinking about the narrative of the water being turned into wine and I can’t help but be brought face to face with the fact that there is something incredibly significant about what the master of ceremony spoke in the presence of the servants. It’s important to note that when the master of ceremony spoke these words he wasn’t speaking them to Jesus and he had absolutely no clue that the wine which he had tasted was water in a waterpot perhaps only minutes before. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that the master of the ceremony tasted what he discerned was the best wine and had absolutely no clue that what he was tasting was actually that which was previously water. The master of ceremony had absolutely no clue that the wine which he tasted had been water in a water pot only minutes before. Oh what I can’t help but think about when reading the narrative of the wedding at Cana of Galilee is that I am sure each and every guest at the wedding drank of the water which had been turned into wine. With this being said I can’t help but wonder whether or not anyone there—other than the servants who drew the water out of the waterpots—knew what had actually taken place. Pause and consider the fact that it is very likely that the guests which were invited unto the wedding tasted and partook of water which had been turned into wine and had absolutely no clue that what they were tasting was actually water which was turned into wine. When and as the master of ceremony tasted the water turned into wine he thought that they had saved the best wine for the last and had absolutely no clue that what he was tasting was water which had been turned and transformed into wine and brought unto him. The master of ceremony rejoiced greatly when he tasted the water which was made wine and boasted of how the best wine was kept until the end, thus perhaps providing a powerful impression of the bridegroom, the bride and perhaps even the bride’s father and family.

 

            The more I think about the words which are found in this particular passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth concerning the miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee and how it would be there Jesus would turn and transform water into wine. If there is one thing I so absolutely love about this narrative it’s that there is indeed context and a framework of understanding surrounding at least one person there at the wedding tasting and partaking of the water which had been turned into wine. While we aren’t given any clue or context into any of the other guests partaking of this water which had been turned into wine I would dare say that each and every guest was able to drink and partake of this water which had been turned into wine. How absolutely stunning and captivating it is to think about this particular truth and how here at a wedding in Cana of Galilee water had been turned and transformed into wine in the place of covenant and celebration. What an incredible thought it is to consider how each and every guest would have undoubtedly tasted and partaken of the wine which perhaps only minutes before had been water. Imagine drinking wine and having absolutely no clue that it had previously been water—and not only water but water which was poured into these six waterpots and water which was drawn out of those same waterpots. There is something to be said about drinking and partaking of wine which only minutes before had been water which filled six clay waterpots. Oh I can’t help but wonder if not only did each and every guest taste and partake of the water which had been turned into wine, but each and every waterpot was emptied of the contents. We know that when Jesus performed the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand there were twelve baskets of fragments leftover, and we know that when Jesus fed the four thousand there were seven baskets of fragments which were leftover.

 

            IS THERE ANY WINE LEFT? WOULD THERE HAVE BEEN ANY WINE REMAINING AFTER THE CELEBRATION WAS OVER? I can’t help but wonder if each and every waterpot was emptied of the contents which were inside as every guest there at the wedding partook of the water which had been turned into wine. Imagine what it would have been like for the disciples to continue coming back to Jesus to take of the broken bread and the broken fish and distribute it to the groups of people which were before them sitting in the grass. Imagine how many different trips the disciples would have made unto Jesus to take from His hands that they might place it into the hands of the men and women which were before them. Oh I can’t help but wonder how many different trips each of the twelve disciples had actually made to Jesus to get that which they would distribute unto the masses which were before them in the open field. This is as true of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand as it is the miracle of the feeding of the four thousand. With this being said and the reason I bring this up is because if each and every guest at the wedding in Cana of Galilee partook of the water which had been transformed into wine then that means the servants would have had to continue drawing from the waterpots and distributing to the guests or the waterpots themselves would have been brought out among the guests. I am inclined to believe that the servants which were present there at the wedding continually went back to those waterpots to draw forth water and with each and every time they drew water out of those vessels and brought it unto the guests it had been transformed into wine. What an incredibly powerful miracle it is to consider—not only how Jesus would turn and transform water into wine but also how each and every guest which was present at the wedding would have tasted and partaken of that water which had been made into wine. Both the five thousand and the four thousand ate and partook of the fragments of bread and fish until they were filled and I would dare say that each and every guest here at the wedding partook of the water which was made into wine until each and every waterpot was emptied.

 

            As you continue reading in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find that there was a second miracle Jesus would perform in Cana of Galilee just before departing for Jerusalem at the time of one of the feasts of Israel. In the final verses of the fourth chapter of this gospel narrative you will read how there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick in Capernaum. This nobleman—when he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee—would make his way unto Jesus and besought Him that He would come down and heal his son who was at the point of death. Jesus would speak unto this nobleman and declare unto him—perhaps not solely and directly unto him but unto all those who were present at this particular point in time—that except he see signs and wonders he would not believe. I am inclined to believe that when Jesus spoke these words He wasn’t merely speaking them unto this nobleman—particularly and especially in the place of desperation and need within his life. In all reality this kind of reminds me of the narrative which is found in the seventeenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle Matthew. You will recall in this particular chapter how Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him up into an high mountain where He would be transfigured before them. It would be there upon the mountain Jesus’ appearance would be altered and not only would they see a glimpse of the glory which Jesus had with the Father before He became the Word which took on flesh but would also see Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah.

 

When Jesus came down from the mountain with these three disciples He would be met by a father whose sone was possessed and oppressed by an unclean spirit. This unclean and evil spirit tormented, oppressed and endangered this man’s son as he oft times threw him into the fire and into the flood seeking to destroy him. This desperate father came unto Jesus and declared unto Him how he had brought his son unto His disciples but they could in no wise cure him. When Jesus heard the words which the father had spoken unto him He immediately and emphatically responded by declaring “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me.” Please don’t miss and lose sight of the words which Jesus spoke at this particular time for I would dare say these words weren’t entirely nor were they altogether directed toward the father. I can’t imagine these words would have been directed to this father who was not only in a desperate place but who had also witnessed the disciples of Jesus being unable to deliver his son from the torment, the bondage and the oppression and possession of this unclean spirit. Jesus would respond in that moment unto a faithless and perverse generation and would then call for the boy to be brought unto Him. It would be once the boy was brought into the presence of Jesus He would drive out the unclean spirit thus delivering him from the torment, the oppression, the bondage and oppression of this unclean spirit. What makes this particular narrative so incredibly unique is when you consider Jesus’ words unto that generation and how it was a faithless and perverse generation. Similarly we find Jesus speaking unto those who were present with this nobleman who entreated Him on behalf of his son and declaring unto them that except they see signs and wonders they would not believe.

 

It is something to think about when reading this particular narrative that this nobleman had indeed heard that Jesus had come out of Judaea into Galilee and would make his way unto Jesus. The sole purpose for this nobleman to make his way unto Jesus was to beseech Him on behalf of his son who was home sick and on the verge of death. This father would come unto Jesus in complete and utter desperation as he would beseech Him to come down unto his home and heal his son who was at the point of death. We know that Jesus would emphatically declare that unless signs and wonders were seen men would not believe and yet we find the nobleman perhaps being all the more adamant in the presence of Jesus as the apostle John writes how he would entreat Jesus once more to come down lest his child die. What Jesus does next is truly astonishing for Jesus didn’t agree to go with this nobleman unto his home, nor did Jesus offer up a prayer on behalf of this nobleman’s son. That which is found in the text is Jesus emphatically instructing this nobleman to return unto his home for his son lived. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this particular truth for there is something incredibly powerful about it—particularly and especially when you consider it in light of the centurion who also came unto Jesus. The apostle Matthew, John Mark and the physician Luke wrote of the Roman centurion who came unto Jesus on behalf of his servant who was at home sick and on the verge of death. This centurion entreated Jesus to come with him unto his home that He might heal his servant and Scripture reveals how Jesus was willing to accommodate the request of this man. Upon hearing of Jesus’ willingness to come down unto his home this centurion would declare unto Jesus that he was not worthy to have him come under his roof.

 

What we find in the narrative of the Roman centurion is actually quite interesting when you take the time to consider it for this Roman centurion knew and understood that Jesus was willing to come into his home that He might heal his servant. The Roman centurion does something which is actually quite intriguing for you will find him not only declaring unto Jesus that he was not worthy to have him come under his roof but you will also find him making an even greater declaration unto Jesus. This man would not only speak of authority but would speak of being a man with authority and a man under authority. The Roman centurion would speak of his giving a command unto his servants to “Go” and they would go and to “Do” and they would do. This Roman centurion not only understood the reality and concept of authority but also the power that is behind a command from one who had authority. This Roman centurion knew that Jesus simply needed to speak the word and his servant would be healed. Jesus was so impressed with the faith of this centurion that He actually declared unto those who were present that He had not seen such great faith in all of Israel. Although Jesus would not go down unto the house of the Roman centurion He would speak the word that would ultimately result in the recovery and healing of his servant. It is truly something awesome when you think about and consider this particular truth for I would dare say that this Roman centurion believed the word which Jesus had spoken and it was that belief in the spoken word of Jesus that would ultimately help and contribute to the healing and recovery of his servant who was sick and on the verge of death.

 

There is something to be said about this particular narrative of the Roman centurion in direct connection to the nobleman whose own son was sick and on the verge of death. In both narratives we find Jesus speaking the word that would ultimately result in the healing and recovery of that one who was sick. In the case of the Roman centurion Jesus would speak the word which would bring about the healing and recovery of his servant and in the case of the nobleman Jesus would speak the word that would bring about the healing and recovery of his son. What we find in this New Testament gospel is an incredibly powerful picture of faith, of trust and belief at work within the heart of this nobleman for the apostle John records how this man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him and went his way. BELIEVING THE WORD AND GOING ON YOUR WAY! Permit me to ask a very pointed and powerful question of you who might be reading these words and whether or not you have enough faith, enough trust and enough confidence in your heart to believe the word of Jesus and to go your way—even if you do not and cannot immediately see what you are believing for. This man not only believed the word which Jesus had spoken unto him but he also departed from the presence of Jesus and went his way not yet seeing that which he was believing for. Oh I can’t help but get the strong sense that there is in this passage a powerful invitation given unto us to be those who have enough faith, enough trust, enough confidence within our hearts and spirits that we can not only believe the word which Jesus had spoken but also depart and go our ways not having yet seen that which we are believing for. It is in the eleventh chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews that the author emphatically exclaims and declares that faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Oh it is absolutely imperative we recognize and understand this as it is on full display here in the life of this nobleman.

 

I am absolutely convinced we must needs understand the words which are found in the final verses of the fifth chapter of this gospel for this nobleman believed the word Jesus had spoken without seeing the actual evidence and manifestation of what he was believing for. Pause and think about how incredible this truly is when you read this narrative for this man came into the presence of Jesus completely and utterly desperate entreating Him to come with him unto his home to heal his son and yet he would depart from the presence of Jesus with faith, with trust, with confidence and with belief in his heart. FROM DESPERATION TO BELIEF! We must needs recognize and pay close attention to that which is found in this passage of Scripture for there is something to be said about this wonderful transition from desperation to belief—especially when you consider the fact that Jesus did not go with this nobleman unto his house. It would have been one thing for this nobleman to believe that Jesus was able to heal his son as Jesus walked with him unto the place where his son lie sick and on the point of death. It would have been one thing for this man to believe knowing that Jesus was coming with him unto his home in Capernaum. It is something else entirely for this man to believe simply based on the word which Jesus spoke without Jesus actually walking with him as he departed unto his house. Oh there is something to be said about our faith when we can indeed believe the word which Jesus has spoken unto us without actually experiencing the presence of Jesus as we are journeying to the very place of our desperation. I feel the great need to ask you who might be reading these words whether or not you could believe the word Jesus spoke unto you without actually being accompanied by the person and presence of Jesus. This man would enter into the presence of Jesus and entreat Him to heal his son and yet he would depart from the presence of Jesus believing the word He had spoken without actually continuing to experience His person and presence.

 

BELIEF WITHOUT SEEING WHAT YOU’RE BELIEVING FOR! BELIEF WITHOUT EXPERIENCING THE PRESENCE OF JESUS! Oh there is something truly awesome and powerful when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here in it is an incredibly powerful truth surrounding this nobleman and how he not only believed the word which Jesus spoke without actually seeing the end result of his faith but also how he believed going his own way without the person and presence of Jesus going with him. This nobleman entered into the presence of Jesus entreating Him to come with him unto his house because his son was sick and on the verge of death. Undoubtedly this nobleman came unto Jesus entreating Him to come with him unto his house and heal his son and yet what we find in the text is a picture of Jesus simply speaking the word that would heal his son. Jesus would declare unto this nobleman that his son lives and instructed him to go his way. I absolutely love how the apostle John wrote how this man believed the word which Jesus had spoken unto him and went his way. It says something about this man to not only believe the word Jesus spoke unto him without actually seeing the manifestation and evidence of that belief but to also go his way and return home without Jesus. Imagine what it would have been like for this nobleman to depart from the presence of Jesus and to go his way unto his home. Imagine what it could have been like for this nobleman to depart from the presence of Jesus with belief in his heart for his son not having yet seen the actual end result and manifestation of his faith and what he was believing for.

 

I can’t help but read the words found in the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John and how it helps set the stage and provide a powerful framework for what we find in the fifth chapter. In the final verses of the fourth chapter we read of this nobleman who entreated Jesus to come with him unto his home lest his son die. In response to the words and cry of this man Jesus instructed him to go his way and declared unto him that his son lived. This man believed the word Jesus had spoken unto him and departed from his presence as he went his way. How would you have responded if you were in such a position and situation? Would you have continued in the presence of Jesus and perhaps asked for a sign and some type of tangible evidence that what you were asking for would actually take place? Would you have continued to abide in the presence of Jesus and continue asking Him to come with you lest your need go unmet? This nobleman could have remained and abided in the presence of Jesus and contended with him concerning his son and his being healed and made whole. This nobleman could have remained and abided in the presence of Jesus asking for something tangible and specific on behalf of his son rather than simply believing and going his way. The truth of the matter is that there is something to be said here within this passage about believing the word Jesus has spoken and going our way. There is something to be said about going our way from the presence of Jesus believing the word He had spoken unto us rather than attempting to remain in His presence and arguing and contending with Him.

 

This nobleman believed the word which Jesus spoke unto him concerning his son and it was that belief that allowed him to depart from the presence of Jesus and go his way without actually seeing the end result of his faith. Oh we must needs pay attention to this as I am convinced there are times when we are called and brought into a place where we believe the word which Jesus has spoken unto us and/or believe what we read in the Scripture without actually seeing the tangible evidence and manifestation of what we are believing for. Just as this man departed from the presence of Jesus because he believed the word which He had spoken unto him so also are we called into those times and those places where we believe that which He has spoken and go on our way not yet seeing what we are believing for but knowing within our heart and our spirit that we will indeed bear witness to the end result of our faith. What is so amazing about this passage of Scripture is that this man didn’t even have to make it unto his house to learn that what he had believed for had actually come to pass. Scripture records how while this man was going down to his house his servants met him and declared unto him that his son lived. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that not only did Jesus instruct this man to go his way and declare unto him that his son lived, but you almost get the sense that his servants meeting him was in all reality a tremendous gift of grace and mercy in his life as he would not even have to step foot into his house to learn that his son lived. Before this man even stepped foot into his house he would learn that his son lived and that what he had believed for had indeed come to pass and been brought to pass.

I am sitting here today thinking about and considering that which took place in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the fact that this man not only believed the word Jesus had spoken unto him but it was that belief that enabled him to depart from the presence of Jesus without actually seeing what he was believing for. What’s more is that this particular nobleman would not even make it to the threshold of his house before he would learn that his son lived. While he was still on his way home and while he was still coming down his servants would meet him and declare unto him that his son lived, thus confirming the word which Jesus had spoken unto him. With this being said it’s important to note and understand that not only did this man’s servants meet him and declare unto him that his son lived but he would also inquire of them at what time his son began to amend and recover. The servants would respond to his question by declaring that it was the previous day around the seventh hour when the fever left his son and he began to recover. Upon hearing these words the nobleman knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus had spoken unto him that his son lived. What makes this truly remarkable when you consider it is that not only did this nobleman believe the word which Jesus had spoken unto him concerning his son but the fourth chapter concludes with the apostle John declaring that this nobleman believed together with his whole house. Please don’t miss and lose sight of what is found in this passage of Scripture as it brings us to the place where we not only read of belief in the word which Jesus speaks but also belief in the person of Jesus Himself. Oh there is something to be said about believing the word(s) Jesus speaks and has spoken but there is something else entirely about believing in Jesus Himself.

 

As I prepare to delve into the fifth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative I feel compelled to draw and call your attention to the fact that within this passage there are essentially two different demonstrations and manifestations of belief within the heart and spirit of this man. There is the initial belief in the word which Jesus has spoken unto you concerning your need and there is the secondary belief in the actual person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must needs recognize and understand this particular truth as it is manifested in this passage of Scripture for there is a great and tremendous need within our hearts and lives to allow both manifestations of faith and belief to be present within our hearts and spirits. It is one thing to believe the word which Jesus has spoken unto us in the place of our desperation, however, it is something else entirely to believe in the actual person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is one thing to hear the voice of Jesus and believe the word which He has spoken unto us and it is another thing to believe in the person of Jesus Himself. When this nobleman departed from the presence of Jesus he would do so believing the word which Jesus had spoken unto him, however, when he learned that his son liveth and when he learned at what hour the fever had left him he believed in the person of Jesus. Not only this but we also learn and discover that this man believed in the person of Jesus together with his entire household. What a truly awesome and powerful picture this is when you think about and consider it as it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth of believing the word of Jesus to accomplish something within our lives and believing in Jesus to be something within our lives.

 

 

I am absolutely and completely convinced there is a drastic difference between believing the word of Jesus to accomplish and fulfill something within our lives and believing in Jesus Himself to be something within our lives. There are countless men and women who are quite comfortable and content believing the word of Jesus to accomplish something within their lives, however, I would dare say that such a reality and manifestation within our hearts and lives is incredibly shallow. We would like to think that it is enough to simply believe the word Jesus has spoken unto us to accomplish something incredibly specific, however, I am absolutely convinced that such a belief is incredibly shallow. The more I read this particular narrative the more I am brought face to face with the fact that we are indeed and have indeed been brought into the place where we not only believe the word which Jesus has spoken within our lives but we must also believe in the person of Jesus and in His person. There are those among us who only ever believe the word which Jesus has spoken within their hearts, within their spirits and within their souls that it might accomplish something in them and yet they never transition into the place where they believe in Jesus to be something and be someone within their lives. Oh dear reader if you are one who simply believes the word which Jesus has spoken within your heart and soul to accomplish something on your behalf and don’t ever believe in Him to be someone in your life then you have sorely and severely missed the point in your walk and in your relationship with the Lord Jesus.

 

In this passage of Scripture we find and read the narrative of this nobleman departing from the presence of Jesus believing the word He had spoken unto him concerning his son and being able to depart from the presence of Jesus without yet seeing the evidence and manifestation of that belief. What makes this truly awesome and powerful is when you consider the fact that as this nobleman was journeying unto his home and while he was still on his way his servants would meet him and declare unto him that his son lived. Upon hearing that his son lived the nobleman inquired of them at what hour his son began to amen to which his servants responded by declaring unto him that it was about the seventh hour the previous day when the fever left him. This man recognized and understood that it was at that very hour when he was standing in the presence of Jesus and He not only instructed him to go his way but also declared unto him that his son lived. Oh how wonderful it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and to consider the fact that as a direct result of this the nobleman and his entire household would believe in the person of Jesus. There would be an incredibly powerful transition that would take place within the heart of this nobleman as he would find the place of believing the word which Jesus had spoken and actually believing in the person of the Jesus. BELIEVING THE WORD, BELIEVING IN THE PERSON! I am absolutely and completely convinced we as the people of God have been and are being called into the place where we not only believe the word of Jesus but also believe in the person of Jesus. It is great to believe the word Jesus has spoken unto us, however, I am convinced that believing the word Jesus has spoken unto us must indeed lead us in the place where we believe in the person of Jesus. In fact, I would dare say that believing in the word which Jesus has spoken is not merely designed and intended to bring about that which we have asked for but also to bring us into the place where we believe in Him and where our faith and confidence in Him is strengthened.

 

With all of this in mind it is necessary that we journey into the fifth chapter of this New Testament gospel and the narrative of Jesus journeying unto Jerusalem once more. If you read the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find that much of Jesus’ movements and activity centered upon the city of Jerusalem—and not only upon the city of Jerusalem but also upon the feasts of Israel which would have been celebrated during and at those times. What we find here in the opening verses of the fifth chapter is Jesus departing from Galilee and making His way unto Jerusalem at the time of one of the feast of the Jews. Undoubtedly Jesus was making his way unto the city of Jerusalem that he might celebrate one of the feasts which the Jewish people would themselves have celebrated. Oh we don’t know what feast in particular the Jews were celebrating at this particular time, however, I would dare say that it might very well have been one of the pilgrimage feasts in which Jews from Galilee, from Judaea, and perhaps even from the regions round about and surrounding Judaea would journey unto Jerusalem to celebrate. One of the most remarkable realities surrounding the gospel narrative written by the apostle John is Jesus’ movement from Galilee to Judaea and vice versa at the times of feast and celebration. The more you read this gospel the more you will be brought face to face with the fact that more often than not Jesus would move back and forth between Judaea and Galilee around the time of the feasts and would view the Jewish feasts as an opportunity to not only celebrate and observe the feasts themselves but also as opportunities to undertake and perform the divine will of the Father.

 

Upon reading the fifth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find that there was a feast of the Jews and how Jesus went up to celebrate. The apostle John would also write how there was in the city of Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool which in the Hebrew tongue was called Bethesda having five porches. In these five porches there lie a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, of halt, of withered, and the like who were all waiting for the same thing—the moving of the water. John writes how an angel would come down at a certain season into the pool and would trouble the waters. Whosoever then was first into the waters after the angel had troubled them was immediately made whole of whatsoever disease they had. What makes this particular passage so incredibly intriguing is when you consider the fact that there was a certain man present at one of these pools which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. A question I have to immediately ask when reading these words is how often and how many times this man witnessed and watched as someone else entered into the waters and was made whole of their infirmity and plague. If you continue reading the words presented here you will find John writing how Jesus saw this man lying there and knew that he had been a long time in that present condition. What I can’t help but wonder if how many times this man watched and beheld as another with their own condition, illness and disease entered into the water and were made whole. This passage provides us with a dialogue taking place between Jesus and this impotent man at the pool of Bethesda and how Jesus asked him if he wished and would like to be made whole. Upon hearing the question Jesus asked this man would reveal how he had no man when the water was troubled to put him into the pool. What’s more is that even when the man saw the water being troubled and even when the man knew what he needed to try and do someone else would step in before him.

 

SIR I HAVE NO MAN! Pause for a moment and consider the words which are found in this particular portion of Scripture for there is something tragic about that which this man reveals unto Jesus. The dialogue which took place between this man and Jesus was not only about others stepping into the waters but also about his not having anyone who was willing to help him into the waters. Even if he somehow and someway managed to move himself toward the waters there was someone else who would enter into the waters before him. I sit here today reading the words found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but be absolutely captivated by the fact that this man’s words—and not only his words but also his need—is entirely and altogether a picture of many within our generation today. While there aren’t any men and women among us in this generation who are waiting for the stirring and troubling of waters that they might step in and receive what they are seeking for there are men and women who are in a place of need and desperation. There are men and women among us who are indeed and in fact waiting for something to take place within their lives that they might experience the healing, deliverance, freedom, wholeness and victory they are longing for. One of the most tragic truths surrounding this, however, is that there are countless people who are like this man who have no one to bring them to the waters. If I am being honest I have to say that while this man had no man to bring him to the waters when they were troubled there are those among us who have no one to take them to the waters within our churches, or the waters flowing at the altar, or even the waters of healing which is made available through the person and presence of the Holy Spirit.

 

This man and all those who were present in these five porches were relegated to a life there in those porches waiting for something that could happen at any point during a specific season, and when it actually did happen it was only the first person who stepped into the waters who was made whole of their infirmity. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if there were men and women who not only spent a considerable amount of time there in those porches but who also progressively moved themselves closer to the waters. With this being said I have to ask if this was even a possibility for many who were there in these porches. Was it at all possible for men and women who were present there in these porches to “advance” their place and their position within these porches and move to a different place close to the waters? I can’t help but get the sense that men and women living here in these porches not only sought to get into the waters but even if they were unable to get themselves into the waters when they were troubled they would do what they could to advance themselves into a place closer to the waters. I can’t help but think about the fact that those who were closest to the waters were undoubtedly those who had the greatest chance of stepping into them once the waters were troubled. I read this passage and I can’t help but get the sense that with those who stepped into the waters and were healed would depart from these porches and would potentially return to their home or perhaps attempt to live and create a life they wouldn’t otherwise had if they were still waiting to be healed.

 

WAITING TO BE HEALED AND YET HAVING NOONE! WAITING TO BE DELIVERED AND YET HAVING NOONE! WAITING TO BE MADE WHOLE AND YET HAVING NOONE! I can’t help but be reminded of the narrative of the man who was sick with the palsy who was not only brought unto Jesus but was also lowered down in the midst of the house before Jesus after those who had brought him had removed enough of the roof to let him down in the presence of Jesus. Pause for a moment and think about how grateful this man must have been to have others who were not only willing to carry him to Jesus but were actually willing to remove enough of the root to lower him down before and in the presence of Jesus in front of all those present in the house. There is something truly awesome and truly powerful about having others who are willing to bring you to Jesus and others who are willing to take you where you need to be that you might experience and receive the healing. One of the greatest tragedies surrounding this man was not necessarily that he had been in his condition, and not only that he had been in his condition for thirty-eight years, but that he had no one to bring him unto the waters and put him in. Imagine not only being in a place of need and not only being in a place of need for thirty eight years but also being in a place where you had absolutely no one to bring you into the place where you would and could receive healing. Imagine being in a place where there was no one before or around you who would be able to bring you into the presence of Jesus and into a place where you could receive the healing, the wholeness, the deliverance, the freedom and the victory you so desired within your life.

 

If there is one thing I absolutely love about this passage of Scripture it’s that although this man had been in this condition for thirty-eight years and although this man was perhaps waiting for the waters to be troubled he would experience something—and not merely something but someone on this particular day. This particular individual was not only waiting for the waters to be troubled but was also perhaps waiting for someone who would be willing to take him by the hands or even allow him to lean upon their shoulders as they brought them down to the waters. With this being said I can’t help but get the sense that there were most likely not a whole lot of “whole” people who were hanging out in this particular place. I would dare say that there weren’t a lot of men and women who were whole in their physical bodies who were dwelling in the place where impotent, blind, halt and maim individuals lay waiting for the troubling of the waters. In fact I would dare say that these porches were perhaps some of the least visited places in all of Jerusalem. I do not believe for one moment there would be men and women who would deliberately and intentionally choose to go down into these porches and look to minister unto and among them. I do not believe for one moment there were men and women who would deliberately and intentionally go down into these porches and help those who were present get to the waters that they might be healed. In fact there is a part of me that wonders what would and could have happened if one who was whole went down into these porches to help someone get into the waters only to find someone else enter into the waters before them. I would imagine that frustration and disappointment might have even found its way into the hearts of those who might by some chance enter into these porches and seek to help someone into the waters when they were troubled.

 

I absolutely love how this man had spent a considerable amount of time waiting for the waters to be troubled and hoping someone would help him down into those waters and perhaps never thought in a million years there would be someone who could heal him apart from and outside those waters. I am sure those who were present in the porches of the pool of Bethesda thought the only chance and hope for them to be healed and made whole was to get down into the waters and yet here was this man who was in his present place of infirmity for thirty and eight years who found healing outside the waters. Oh I can’t help but see within this passage of Scripture and incredibly wonderful and powerful picture of those who have this misconception and perception that healing can and only does take place in a specific context. I am absolutely convinced there are men and women among us who feel as though healing can only take place in certain places and in certain atmospheres and they have absolutely no context or framework for healing taking place outside of and apart from those waters. Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is what the waters in this this passage of Scripture represent within our own lives, within our own generation, within our own culture and society and within our own context and framework.

 

WHAT WATERS ARE YOU SEEKING TO GET INTO? WHAT DO THE WATERS REPRESENT WITHIN YOUR LIFE? The more I read the words found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the awesome truth surrounding what the waters in this passage might represent within our own hearts and lives as well as within our culture and society. I am absolutely convinced there are men and women among us in this generation who believe that healing and deliverance can only take place in certain contexts and in certain environments. There are men and women among us who believe that freedom and victory can only take place in certain environment and atmosphere and so they spend a considerable amount of time being stuck in those particular places. There is not a doubt in my mind that many within these five porches viewed the only opportunity for them to be healed of their disease and infirmity as being to get themselves into the waters when they were stirred. The trouble that surrounds this is that the angel only came down during a certain season and there would undoubtedly have been a tremendous amount of competition between those present in these porches to get down into the waters. What makes this particular passage so intriguing is when you look at the description of those who were present here in these porches you seem to get the sense that they might have all been on equal footing and would have required someone else to bring them down to the waters. Those who were blind wouldn’t have been able to get to the waters by themselves as they would have needed someone to lead them by the hand. Those who were impotent, halt and withered might themselves have also needed someone to help them to the waters—particularly and especially when you think about their inability to have natural movement and mobility within their feet, their ankles and their legs.

 

I sit here today thinking about and considering the words and language which is found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought to the point where there would have been a considerable amount of men and women in these porches who would have needed someone else to help them not only get to the waters but also step down into the waters. There is something to be said about this particular passage when you read of the individuals who would have been present here and how most of them would not have been able to get to the waters by themselves. I am absolutely convinced there would have been a number of men and women present here who would have needed someone to help get them to the waters and someone to help them into the waters just as this man did. I do not believe the words which this man spoke were exclusive to him alone and that there weren’t others who found themselves in the same position. I am sure there might have been family members of some individuals here who might have been willing to come unto them and help them to the waters and help them into the waters, however, there would have been a number of individuals who would not have had anyone to help them into the waters. I very much doubt there were men and women in Jerusalem who were making it a regular habit and practice to go down into these porches and avail themselves to help others get to and into the waters. This is something which must needs be considered within our own hearts as we read this passage for there is something about having someone who can help get and bring you to the place of deliverance, freedom, victory and healing. There is something about having someone who is willing to bring you to that place where you can indeed and can in fact be made whole of whatever is present within your heart and life.

 

If there is one thing I feel is absolutely necessary and imperative for us to understand when reading these words it’s that there is not only a great and present need for those to make themselves available to others in their place of need to bring them to the place of healing, deliverance, freedom and victory, but there must also be an understanding that these realities aren’t limited to the “waters” within our culture and society. What I so absolutely love about this passage of Scripture is that although this man might have been waiting for someone to come alongside him and help him to the waters, and while this man might have been waiting for the waters to be troubled, and while he might have been waiting to receive healing within his physical body he would on this day encounter someone who could heal him apart from the waters and without anyone needing to come alongside him to help him. How tremendous it is that when this man spoke of not having anyone to help him enter into the waters when they were troubled he would experience the very One who had the authority and power to make him completely whole and heal him. What’s more is that this man would find healing after being in that place for thirty eight years without needing to go down into the waters. This man was able to experience healing and wholeness within his physical body without needing to step into the waters when they were troubled as others had in the past. Oh it was indeed true there might very well have been those who were able to experience healing by entering into the waters when they were troubled, however, this particular man would find healing in that same place without anyone bring him to the waters and without anyone helping him into the waters.

 

I am absolutely and completely captivated when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture and how this man had not only been in this place for thirty and eight years but for what might very well have been a considerable amount of time he had no one to help him down into the waters when they were stirred. This man had perhaps spent countless months if not years not only contending with his condition but also contending with the disappointment and frustration of having no one to help him into the waters. This man had been in this place for thirty and eight years and had no one to help him into the waters when they were stirred. What makes this truly captivating is when you think about the fact that when there was no one to bring him to and help him into the waters there was one who would come unto him and heal him right where he was. This man would receive and experience healing without and apart from needing to enter into the waters and without anyone needing to help him to those waters. This isn’t to say that there was anything wrong with those who received healing within their physical bodies in the past by stepping into these waters, but that this man would find healing right where he was at. Oh there is something truly wonderful about a Jesus who is willing to meet you right where you are at when there is no one to lead you to the proverbial waters. When it appears and seems as though there is no one who can help you into that place where healing and wholeness seems to be manifested Jesus can show up and bring healing in a moment of time.

 

I am absolutely and utterly blown away when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for what is presented before us is a Jesus who cared nothing for the waters being stirred and who cared nothing about needing to step into the waters once they were stirred. Jesus showed up in this man’s life after he had spent the last thirty-eight years living with this infirmity. This isn’t even to mention how long he might have lived and dwelt in one of these porches at the pool of Bethesda. After thirty-eight years of living with this infirmity Jesus would show up right where this man was laying and would heal him right on the spot. NO WATERS NECESSARY! NO HELP NECESSARY! It is absolutely riveting to read this passage and encounter a Jesus who was willing to show up right where this man was lying and without needing to lead him down into the waters and without needing to place him in the waters was able to heal him right there. Something that comes to my mind when reading this particular passage is the powerful truth that healing was possible apart from those waters and the troubling of the waters by an angel who came down. I am sure there were countless men and women within these porches who thought and believed the only way to experience healing and wholeness was to enter into the waters when they were troubled and yet what we find here is a Jesus who is willing to heal you right where you are. We must needs recognize and understand this truth as it calls and draws our attention to the fact that it is possible for Jesus to show up right where we are and heal us apart from and outside of the “waters” which we think and feel we need to journey to. I am sure there are men and women who flock to the “waters” of “revivals” and the “waters” of “awakenings” and the “waters” of “tent meetings” thinking and believing that is the only way they can experience healing, deliverance, freedom, wholeness and victory within their lives. If there is one thing this particular passage shows and demonstrates it’s that Jesus can show up in the place of waiting and expectation, as well as perhaps the place of frustration and disappointment and bring healing into our lives.

 

As I bring this writing to a close I feel the tremendous need to call and draw your attention to the fact that Jesus not only showed up in the place of having this infirmity for thirty-eight years, and Jesus not only showed up in the place of this man having no one to lead him to and into the waters, and Jesus not only showed up in the place of frustration and disappointment, but Jesus showed up in the place where and when no one expected Him. This man probably woke up on this day thinking it would be like any other day and yet on this particular day he would find himself in the presence of Jesus who would heal him of his infirmity. Jesus would find this man there in one of the porches at the pool of Bethesda and would first ask him if he would be made whole as if to expose the frustration, the disappointment, and perhaps even the disillusionment within this man’s heart. After hearing the words this man spoke Jesus would command him to rise, to take up his bed and walk. There in that place of five porches and one pool Jesus would bring healing into this man’s life and would reverse and undo thirty-eight years of infirmity. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that in the place of five porches, one pool and a great multitude of impotent folk lying within those porches Jesus would show up and bring healing into this man’s life. After thirty-eight years of this infirmity and after a considerable amount of time watching others step into the waters and be healed before his eyes he would now experience healing himself.

 

What a truly awesome and wonderful reality this is when you take the time to think about it for it draws and calls our attention to the tremendous truth that Jesus can indeed show up in the place of five porches and one pool and yet doesn’t need to trouble the waters, nor does He even need this man to step down into the waters to experience healing. Jesus showed up in the place of five porches and one pool and brought healing into the life of this particular man in a moment of time. In that instant and in that place Jesus commanded this man to rise, to take up his bed and walk and immediately. The man was made whole. He would take up his bed and walk for the first time after perhaps thirty-eight years of his infirmity. It is absolutely remarkable to read the words found in this passage for they bring us face to face with a Jesus who is willing to show up in our places of disillusionment and frustration and bring healing into our lives. When we think and feel as though we need to come unto “the waters” within our culture and society to receive and experience healing, deliverance, freedom, and victory Jesus shows up and demonstrates that he does not need the waters, nor the troubling of the waters to bring healing into our lives. Jesus showed up in this man’s life and in the place when he had absolutely no one else to lead him to the waters and help him step down into them and would heal Him on the sabbath day. Oh how absolutely wonderful and amazing this truly is when we think about the fact that not only did this man not need to step down into the waters but neither did he need anyone else to come alongside him and help him. Oh there are times within our lives when the only one we might have is Jesus and yet that is more than enough and all we need. There are times in our lives when we might not have anyone who can and will lead us into the place where we feel healing can take place and yet Jesus shows up and heals us right where we are. What an awesome and beautiful picture this truly is when you think about and consider the fact that Jesus can indeed and can in fact show up in those places within our lives when there is no one else and heal and make us completely whole.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s